So, you finally decided to bite the bullet and buy your first gun. Excitement is through the roof. I’d even say you’ve watched a few YouTube videos and are ready to go. 

But with all that excitement, you might still be confused and ask yourself, “What is the best first gun?”

That’s a great question with a bunch of different answers. I will do my best to cover options for every new shooter’s needs and find exactly what you want. 

You can call me the Sommelier. I will ensure you’re set up for success (well, with a firearm, at least). 

I have a question for you first. 

What Purpose Is Your First Firearm Going To Serve? 

While my go-to option would be to buy a pistol first to cover home defense and concealed carry, I understand that some may not be able to carry firearms due to heavy restrictions in their state. 

Or maybe you want to keep it at home. 

In that case, I’ll recommend the best home defense gun, and then we’ll follow up with an option for which one I think would be the best in each category (rifles, shotguns, pistols) for the first-time gun buyer. 

And why each one suits different shooters. 

Let’s begin. 

What Is The Best Home Defense Gun? 

My recommendation would be an AR-15. Here’s why; 

We all want to protect our homes. It’s in our nature to do so. Finding the best home defense gun boils down to a few things. 

  • How close you are to your neighbors (shared walls, not too much land between houses, etc.)
  • How much do you weigh? (You don’t want something that’ll be hard to wield.)
  • Do you have other people living with you? 

The reason I say this is because of how much wall a bullet can penetrate. For example, I live in an apartment with thin walls with an elderly couple on one side and a single mom on the other. The latter is how I know the walls are thin. 

If someone were to break in, I’d go for my BCM Recce. 


Because 55-grain 5.56×45 tumbles quickly after meeting resistance like the human body or a hard surface. 

And it has the best magazine capacity with minimal recoil. 

So you don’t have to worry about overpenetration too much. But I’d recommend you consider what is beyond the target and how to ensure that nothing hits something or someone on the other side. 

Best First AR-15 – Palmetto State Armory Sabre (13.7 Inch Barrel)

PSA Sabre with 13.7-Inch Barrel. Source.

You won’t break the bank and get a quality firearm. While I usually recommend a BCM Recce, most shooters don’t want to spend that much on their first rifle. That’s alright. 

The Sabre comes from PSA equipped with most of what you’ll throw on your rifle anyway, and it’s pretty damn good on the range. It will serve you justice both at the range and when someone forgets to knock when they walk through your door.

PSA Sabre with 13.7 inch barrel and EOTech optic, handstop, and flashlight. Source.

The 13.7-inch barrel is easy to maneuver around corners and long enough to get maximum usage out of the 5.56×45 round. 

PSA Sabre with 13.7 inch barrel and EOTech optic, handstop, and flashlight. Source.

Make sure you pick up spare rifle magazines. Most AR-15s only come with one, and they’re super affordable.

Best First Shotgun – Mossberg 590

Mossberg 590. Source.

Shotguns are always a great pick due to how cheap they are. Especially the street price. One company that doesn’t sacrifice quality for a low cost is Mossberg, and the 590 is one of the best combat shotguns of all time. 

It’s been used everywhere that a shotgun can go. It’s reliable and well-made, and shotguns are synonymous with being masters of close proximity conflict. 

590® - Shotguns - Firearms O.F. Mossberg & Sons

Mossberg 590. Source.

And the Mossberg 590 has seen a lot of that. Why not go with a shotgun that is cheap and proven in combat?

Best First Pistol – Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS 

Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS. Source.

The Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS is also my pick for the best-concealed carry pistol (if you’re looking for that). 

The Glock is the most simple handgun on the market. It has more aftermarket part options than a 1990s Honda Civic, and it’s easy to shoot. Plus, the magazines aren’t expensive. 

Glock 19 Gen5 MOS with Trijicon optic and Surefire light. Source.

The MOS cut is crucial because I believe that every firearm, no matter what it is, needs a light and optic. 


Glock 19 Gen5 MOS with Vortex and factory Glock 19 magazine. Source.

While other pistols on the market offer both an optics cut and rail space for a light, the Glock 19 is better suited for shooters getting their first pistol due to how easy it is to use and conceal. 

And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. 


No matter which one you choose, take it to the range and train with it. Part of being a new gun owner is building the skills to be effective with your chosen tool, and training helps you build that skill and keeps you sharp. 

I’d recommend a pistol for your first gun. And I’d also recommend you conceal carry due to how bad things have been getting out there. Pistols are best for keeping you safe both in and out of the house. 

A gun in the safe at home is useless when you’re miles away.

Be good and take care.